You know, this thread
really touched a nerve with me. I think Strategiem is trolling a bit, but (s)he expresses a rather popular general opinion: that the electorate is a stupid mass of idiots who react on base emotions only and without any attempt at rational discourse. That, as the saying goes, the masses are asses
Do you agree? I don't... more on why below. There's also a poll.
Here's the deal.
I think the notion that people are dumb in general is disempowering. I think people are actually pretty intelligent when they're interested in and challenged by something. The problem is that people in this country are treated as if they were stupid, especially when it comes to politics, and the power of suggestion is strong.
Or to put it another way, being an informed voter takes less devotion than being a sports fan. People are capable of being more competant citizens. I don't think they're given the opportunity.
It seems to me that there might be some pent up demand for regular citizens to honestly participate in public life, by being concerned voters, by advotating for whatever is near and dear to them. It seems to me that people are pretty smart if you can get through their shell. It seems that there's little opportunity cost in giving folks a chance, in attempting to actually do the right thing, and there's potentially a lot to be gained.